April 2024
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1066: The Hidden History of the Bayeux Tapestry, Andrew Bridgeford

Andrew Bridgeford takes a deep look at the Bayeux Tapestry, its history, and potential interpretations of its content. He is extremely thorough in his assessment, laying it out in a logical sequence that makes his arguments very persuasive. It’s fairly obvious that he is a lawyer, since he spares no time for fanciful ideas and sticks to interpretations straight from the facts.

The part that I liked most about this was Bridgeford’s extensive use of primary sources. He pulls in plenty of Anglo-Saxon, Norman, and French chronicles, as well as various records and writing of other types. He does occasionally use the work of other historians, but I was very impressed with the depth of his research into the original chronicles. He links the tapestry with various contemporary accounts in an attempt to separate out the true thread of events as well as who may have created or paid for the tapestry and why. He takes an indepth look at various misunderstood aspects of the tapestry and postulates why they are they and what they could possibly mean. He even makes a suggestion as to the author of the Song of Roland.

Bridgeford’s strict use of facts and logic assists the reader in understanding his ideas and are a great support to him. His suggestions never seem implausible, even if they occasionally diverge from orthodox opinion. His footnotes and bibliography are extensive. Definitely a recommended book for anyone interested in 11th century medieval history.


1 comment to 1066: The Hidden History of the Bayeux Tapestry, Andrew Bridgeford

  • I am reading the book now (Sep 2010) and love the writing style and Bridgeford’s arrangement and number of sources. However, I have looked for reviews of the book by academic medievalists and have not found them.

    Can you tell me if there are any such reviews available?

    Timothy R. Roberts